Our summer never seems to end. That can be good and bad. It’s bad when the temperatures are well over a hundred for days on end. When that happens, out comes the ice cream maker to make another batch or two of my foolproof homemade vanilla ice cream. Why only homemade vanilla ice cream? Well, that easy; it’s a great canvas for add-ins and toppings. It provides limitless opportunities for a variety of choices.
Finding the right ratios of all the ingredients to make a foolproof, simple homemade vanilla ice cream to come out the way I wanted was a journey. It was trial and error and some disasters. This recipe is now what I use to make my yummy homemade vanilla ice cream.
Foolproof Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 ¼ cup light Karo syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons 150 to 151 proof grain alcohol (or 3 ½ tablespoons neutral unflavored Vodka)
Make sure your ice cream maker bowl is frozen hard before you start.(Note: I find that refrigerating/freezing the ice cream churner blade is helpful too.)
In a large bowl, whisk the milk, Karo syrup, and salt until all the ingredients are incorporated. Whisk in the heavy cream, vanilla, and liquor until combined. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight.
When you’re ready to make your ice cream, take the ice cream mixture out of the refrigerator. The ingredients may have settled so whisk it a bit to ensure all the ingredients are blended. Take the frozen ice cream maker bowl out of the freezer along with the churn blade and position it in the machine. Turn the ice cream maker on; while it’s turning, slowly pour the mixture into the ice cream maker. Continue to churn the mixture for about 25 to 30 minutes until the ice cream has thickened. The ice cream will hold its shape with a soft, creamy texture.
To give it a firmer consistency, transfer the ice cream into two airtight quart/freezer storage containers, label, date and place them in the freezer for at least 2 hours or up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Scoop out some ice cream in a pretty dish, and if you like, add one of my dessert sauces and dive in.
Variations/Add-ins – Add 1 cup or so of these at about the 23 to 25-minute mark or stir them in when the ice cream has churned to the right consistency. Remember, the idea is to add these into the ice cream not freeze them. Adding it sooner than that, or at the beginning will cause the add-ins to collect at the bottom in a hard clump. Yuck.
- Chopped nuts
- Chopped candy pieces of your choice (Reese’s Cups, Heath Bars, Snickers Bars, etc.)
- Chopped or mini chocolate chips
- Chocolate Nips
- Sprinkles of choice
To create a swirl effect, try adding a ½ cup or so of one these in a slow stream at the end. A combination of sauces can be fun too.
- Fruit sauces of choice or liquefied jams
- Peanut butter – softened
- Chocolate syrups
- Caramel sauces
Notes: Ok, why do I use Karo syrup and alcohol? Unless you’re planning to eat all the ice cream when it’s ready, it makes all the difference when you freeze it. The syrup and alcohol will ensure your ice cream has that beautiful creamy texture after it’s been frozen a while. If you’re worried about tasting the alcohol, don’t, you won’t even know it’s there. Without it, you will have that unpleasant solid icy consistency of which so many are so familiar. The type of grain alcohol I use in this recipe is Everclear 151 Grain Alcohol, easily found at most purveyors of alcoholic beverages. If you can’t find it, 3 ½ tablespoons of a good quality neutral unflavored vodka will do just fine. I use so little that it’s a good thing it doesn’t go bad because the bottle I use has been around a very long time. 😀 One last thing, good freezer storage containers help to preserve your ice cream. I love my Tovolo Sweet Treats Tubs. They are inexpensive, reusable and perfect for ice cream.
Tips: Just a few things to add to your knowledge. 🙂
- When you freeze your ice cream (any ice cream), press a small piece of plastic down on the exposed ice cream to seal it. Sealing the top helps to keep your ice cream fresh and prevent the top from freezer burn and crystallizing.
- Have ever wondered what a smidgen, pinch or dash is equal to, or what the true measurement is in a recipe? Here you go; Smidgen = 1/32 teaspoon, Pinch = 1/16 teaspoon, Dash = 1/8 teaspoon.
Now that I’ve made my foolproof homemade vanilla ice cream, and the temperature is now a balmy 102° F, I think I’ll have a dish to cool off. Maybe I’ll top it with one of my homemade dessert sauces. Doesn’t that sound good? Would you like to join me? How about some homemade chocolate or strawberry ice cream? Aw, but these are for another post at another time.
Time to eat…
P.S. Take a moment to check out or purchased some of the tools I used for this “Foolproof Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream” below. 🙂